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I see a lot of companies such has ekmpowershop, volusion, eshops, prostores and so on that give customers power to build and customise their website (in detail). On the other hand I see companies such as RedTechnology (http://www.redtechnology.com/) that build eCommerce applications for customers. I had a look at How to decide between using an existing eCommerce solution and building your own? as well. Also you have big companies such as Amazon, NextPlc, that will never use the above service.

I would like to be self-employed in perhaps developing eCommerce applications, but I am a little reluctant as I see some comments "As with most Stack Exchange sites shopping recommendations are considered to be off topic as they become out of date so quickly". Also I am unsure of the amount of competition out there.

So would I be wasting my time building eCommerce application for customers? As I believe this will cost more from the customer's point of view and time constraint. In turn customers will be more favourable to the companies such as ekmpowershop, volusion, eshops and prostores?

Finally going back to ekmpowershop, volusion, eshops and prostores. How would one build those kind of applications? I am from .NET side.

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How does shopping recommendations being off-topic on SE affect your decision to build an ecommerce site? –  Anna Lear May 2 '11 at 17:07
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He's worried that the advice becoming deprecated quickly being a reason for off-topic points out the risk of his project deprecating soon after it's been done as well. –  user8685 May 2 '11 at 17:14
    
What's your compelling selling point? Why would a customer choose your web site over an established site? What will you offer that they can't get somewhere else? –  Walter May 2 '11 at 17:16
    
Bottom line is that there are no jobs out there. Becoming self-employed could possibly provide better customer service or cheaper. If they aren't getting from there provider. As you all know software is becoming very cheap. –  DiscoDude May 2 '11 at 17:28
    
@DiscoDude - doing this because there "are no jobs out there" seems like a terrible reason to start this. Doing this will be hard because, at least IMO, it certainly won't be an easy sell as to why a company (or person) should trust your product handling their livlihood versus an established product. –  Jetti May 2 '11 at 18:48
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3 Answers

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If your proposed solution solves a real problem that your potential consumers have, then you certainly could try.

Personally though, you're likely a talented individual with the capability of building anything you want. The waters are rough in that market, with some big sharks already in it... do you really want to build yet another e-commerce "solution"?

In my completely biased opinion: Unless you plan to solve a real problem like I mentioned, then yes, you would be wasting your time.

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+1: If you solve a real problem, you may be able to get paying customers. If you just build stuff and hope, then, don't expect much. –  S.Lott May 2 '11 at 17:55
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For the same reason small retailers rent buildings for retail space. You should focus on the business part, not the technology part.

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Do you build web based application other than eCommerce, is that what you mean? –  DiscoDude May 2 '11 at 17:24
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I mean that if you want to sell stuff online, use an existing solution, one that integrates shipping calculators, tax tables, payment gateway integration and the like, and focus your energy on getting the product, packing, shipping correctly, answering the phones/emails, dealing with returns, etc. –  Christopher Mahan May 2 '11 at 17:28
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Nevermind, I just read your question again. You don't want to run your own business, you want to sell ecommerce solutions. I see. They all suck bad, too, but it's gonna be a lot of work to compete. (Multi man-years) –  Christopher Mahan May 2 '11 at 17:30
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Yes, I think it would be a waste of time.

You are a one person shop. You wants to build a solution and hope someone comes, but there are several prebuilt solutions out there. I think you would be better off choosing one of the prebuilt systems and becoming a guru for getting that system up and running for others. For example: "I specialize in zen-cart installation, configuration and implementation."

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@Anna Lear - HedgeMage said that in one of my previous questions. Can you recommend how I can begin in this field. Where to look for, websites, books and journals etc. I will google as well, but you know just in case I miss something? Thanks –  DiscoDude May 4 '11 at 16:42
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@DiscoDude - Check out this windows hosting page from GoDaddy. godaddy.com/hosting/web-hosting.aspx?ci=8971 Scroll down to the bottom and have a look at the Free Add On Applications. They offer Zen-Cart and many other tools. You could make a serious business out of managing the tools offered by GoDaddy. I'm serious. I built an ecommerce application from scratch and it took me 4 months at 40 hrs a week and then we had sell it. If I was young, full of energy and was starting out today... I'd become the expert at setting up some of these pre-built tools. rileymj.at.zilchworks.com –  Cape Cod Gunny May 4 '11 at 21:24
    
@ Cape Cod Gunny - I cannot find Free Add On Applications –  DiscoDude May 5 '11 at 10:14
    
@DiscoDude - Sorry about that. Look for "Choose your Operating System:" and check the radio button for Windows. Then click on the "Plan Details" link. –  Cape Cod Gunny May 5 '11 at 10:48
    
Yes now I can see. There are three options Economy, Deluxe & Ultimate, right? Correct me if I am wrong...So what you are saying is offer those packages to customers, customise to meet their requirements? Isn't this straight forward to setup? –  DiscoDude May 5 '11 at 18:42
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